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European Parliamentary Assembly Urges Common Market to Accept Israel

March 13, 1962
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A decision insisting on the necessity for finding a formula under which Israel could establish a link with the European Common Market was adopted here today by the foreign trade commission of the European Parliamentary Assembly.

The decision was taken after Jean Rey, head of the European Economic Community’s foreign relations department, reported on the state of the current negotiations between Israel and the EEC. M. Rey indicated the difficulties encountered and said that they are caused by the political situation in the Middle East.

He expressed the view that a solution can be found by reliance on certain provisions of the Treaty of Rome under which the European Common Market was established. These provisions refer to commercial policies of member countries and to the definition of a common commercial policy.

A number of members of Belgium’s Senate, representing both the Socialist Party and the Catholic bloc, also voiced strong approval here today for a link between Israel and the European Common Market. The subject came up in the Senate as the body debated a measure giving the Belgian Government’s approval for an association between the Common Market and Greece.

Sen. Duviesart, a Catholic, told the Senate that the question of an Israel link to the Euromart was important. Recalling the “warmth” with which Belgium greeted the establishment of Israel, he expressed the hope that the Belgian Parliament would now support Israel’s relationship to the Common Market “for historical and other reasons.”

Socialist Senators de Block and de House told Parliament that the Belgian Government should help put an end to the opposition within the Euromart for an Israeli association. Israel, Sen. de Block pointed out, buys 65 percent of its imports in Europe, being “an important customer.” He told the Senate: “By publicly stating that Belgium supports Israel’s demand before the European Economic Community, we would at the same time support a democracy, a young republic and the interests of Europe.”

Sen. de Housse proposed that the EEC arrange tariff agreements with Israel. He cautioned, however, against “a misunderstanding through Arab reactions at this time, when France is trying to solve the delicate problem of Algeria. ” Israel’s case, he said, involved more than tariff, he added, but “support of a young State which could be variously interpreted as a political act.”

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